at child-care centres and Centrelink and other assorted places?
"It might offend" we are told. What is offensive about it?
We have a national television station here - the "SBS" (Special Broadcasting Service). It is supposed to be a multicultural television station. The news service concentrates on international news. They also broadcast foreign language news services in a wide variety of languages. They also broadcast some excellent documentaries. "Global Village" has to be one of the best television series ever produced - short segments on people and places and events around the world.
SBS will mention a wide range of religious events around the world. Nobody appears to be offended by this. Why should they be offended?
I admit that Christmas is much too commercial for my liking. Our family does not overdo the present giving. We keep it pretty simple. We tend to exchange books, something we have made, or garden related items with one another. All we are doing is acknowledging the fact that we care about one another.
I know that many people go much further than this. They spend more than they can afford. They forget what Christmas is really about. Even if you are not Christian, have no religious beliefs, do not attend church etc Christmas should still have some significance. It should be a day in your cultural and/or religious tradition or in somebody else's cultural and/or religious tradition that you allow and respect. The same should go for anyone else's religious holidays. You do not have to celebrate them but you should at least allow them to occur and respect their occurrence.
Many of our newest migrants have come from cultures where there is no religious freedom. By not openly celebrating Christmas we are sending them an even worse message than the messages of the regime they have left. We are telling them that we must be tolerant of other cultures and beliefs but not our own.
I find that intolerable.